Last year, we told you how our M-Series systems were featured in the winning design at the NextGen Homes Design Competition. The purpose of the competition was to push the Chattanooga, Tennessee, region’s boundaries by designing, building and offering four homes with net-zero capabilities. The winning design achieved net-zero by pairing our energy-efficient systems with a 9 kW solar photovoltaic array on each home’s roof.
When we last wrote, construction was just beginning. Now, one of the homes is completed and on the market. The house is truly the first of its kind in the area, and we’re honored to have our technology contribute to its sustainability and healthfulness.
Within the next year, all four homes will be completed. We look forward to seeing how this next generation of houses fares – and we’ll keep you updated. Something tells us it will be very inspiring!
Source: New York City College of Technology
Every two years, the U.S. Department of Energy holds the Solar Decathlon. The challenge: “collegiate teams from around the world design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.” Over the years, our products have helped teams win the challenge’s biggest awards.
This year, we’re eager to see our M-Series system perform for New York City College of Technology’s Team DURA. The sixty DURA team members have spent the last two years preparing for the competition that will run from Oct. 8–18 in Irvine, California. They’ve built a net-zero home that is expandable and adaptable – a corollary to our technology’s own flexibility. Their slender, 24-foot by 50-foot structure can house a single family, or can be stacked to create a four-unit multifamily building. In short: very exciting.
One of the most exciting things about Solar Decathlon, though, goes beyond individual designs; it’s being a part of young professionals’ first steps into the building world. Many of these students will go on to be the next generation of engineers, architects, homebuilders, contractors and more. We’re honored that they chose to work with our equipment as they form a foundation of understanding, and we’ll be rooting for them come October 8!
Left to Right: Richard Li, Regional Manager, Commercial, Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Cooling & Heating Division; George Oliphant, host, “George to the Rescue”; Mario Marcellino, vice president, Pelham Bay Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Inc.; Peter Kanakos, principal, GC Eng & Associates
Emmy Award-winning TV host George Oliphant and a team of contractors and designers are “helping families one home at a time.” In the October 3 episode of “George to the Rescue,” we join George and crew in transforming one home and the lives of one family in need.
Each episode of the NBC TV special project follows the renovation of a home in the Tri-State area. The upcoming episode shows how our ductless system improves the comfort of a single-family home in Queens, New York.
“George to the Rescue” is broadcasted by NBC affiliate stations in 10 of the largest TV markets nationwide: Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami/South Florida, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington. Check your local listings to catch the airing this weekend or watch the episode online afterwards.
Well into September, women frustratingly joke about their freezing offices. They plug in space heaters, cocoon themselves in blankets and pour cup after cup of steaming-hot coffee. Men, though, seem fine. An article published in Nature Climate Change offers an explanation: Most office buildings’ temperatures are set using a 1960s formula based on men’s metabolic rates – not women’s, and not the average of the two. The result is an office that feels thermally comfortable for men but freezing for women.
The problem extends beyond comfort. A well-regarded study on office temperatures found that uncomfortable workers were 150 percent less productive. The same study said lower temperatures also meant workers made 44 percent more errors. And we all know that milder temperature settings mean lower utility bills and less demand on the grid. So why are we still dialing down the temperature?
This is an interesting question to ask, but it can be touchy to bring up thermal comfort given how sensitive of a subject it’s become. A recent article in The Washington Post, for example, claims that “air conditioning is another big, sexist plot.” If you can find a way to talk about it, though, the potential riches are numerous: more comfort, increased productivity and lower bills.
Or just a wait a few more weeks until it’s too cold outside and too warm inside.
Our latest Engineer and Architect E-Newsletters explore K-12 educational facilities. The editions address questions like:
- What goes into specifying and designing an effective school?
- What new HVAC technologies will help teachers teach better and students learn better?
- What innovations are taking place in schools around the world?
- What are some examples of schools done right?
An added excitement is our E-Newsletters’ new look. You saw the difference when each E-Newsletter arrived in your inbox. You’ll see it on the PDFs, as well. The issues are shorter, punchier and even more visual.
We hope you’ll enjoy and share these issues, as well as issues from our archive. As always, we welcome any feedback.
California is home to some of the most demanding energy standards in the nation. The Suites on Paseo (Suites) is a San Diego student housing complex that followed these standards, culminating with LEED® Silver certification and 287 very comfortable students. This result required a creative HVAC solution for the complex’s 98,000 square feet of space – one that would meet codes and high student demands.
The system that could meet all of these requirements was our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system. The technology enabled Suites to be split into 300 separate zones across three buildings, all controllable from a central computer. Lee Rich, the building maintenance supervisor, said, “From the computer in my office, my Mitsubishi Electric controls network allows me to override every single fan coil on this property. That’s impressive.”
Even more impressive – LEED Certification Specialist Michael Bigelow noted that “the system provided a 40 percent annual kWh savings. This foundation allowed our all-in design to beat the baseline by 46 percent, which got us 11 out of 10 LEED points in the v2.2 system. Yes, there’s a bonus point in there.” Such energy savings and overachieving, a mark of our technology, will make Suites a comfortable, healthy place for students to live for years and years to come.
Learn more about the Suites on Paseo.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the new buzzword for connecting devices to the Internet in order to increase their functionality and user-friendliness. It’s estimated that by 2020, there will be 50 billion Internet-connected devices. “Smart home technology is catching on because it is literally changing the way we live in our homes,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker. Coldwell Banker recently surveyed homeowners with smart products to find out exactly how:
- 45 percent said smart products save them money ($1,100 a year on average)
- 57 percent said smart products save them time (30 minutes a day on average)
- 87 percent said smart products make their lives easier
We know, based on Coldwell Banker’s findings, that there are millions of satisfied smart product users in the marketplace. We also know there’s a wealth of smart products – what began with smartphones and smart TVs has quickly spread to smart ovens, smart refrigerators and smart HVAC systems. Why then is overall interest in smart products down 15 percent? As John Feland, CEO and founder of Argus Insights, suggests: We’re running out of early adopters.
Tech-savvy homeowners have already jumped on the smart products bandwagon. Other consumers – like first-time home buyers and baby boomers – still don’t understand the technology or think the product is right for them. These homeowners will want smart products when they understand that they are more than a shiny new toy; that the latest and greatest also comes with significant mental, physical and financial benefits. As Feland says, “Novelty drives the first surge; utility drives the second.”
The industry continuously calls for better, easier, faster products. The CITY MULTI Efficiency Evaluator is our latest response.
The cloud-based application compares our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) solutions to existing or proposed HVAC systems. It calculates expected energy usages, life cycle costs and LEED® points for each system based on multiple building factors. This allows contractors to not only tell but show customers just how the systems stack up.
The CITY MULTI Efficiency Evaluator uses a sophisticated building simulation program called WeidtSim. It evaluates a variety of HVAC technologies, including Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems, water source heat pumps, fan coils and chillers. It is also compatible with multiple devices for added convenience.
The CITY MULTI Efficiency Evaluator immediately transforms your sales pitch into a powerful, convincing illustration for your customers. It enhances the onsite consultation experience and reinforces why our VRF solutions are the ideal solutions.
Contact your local sales rep to learn how the CITY MULTI Efficiency Evaluator can help you on your next sales call.
Talking with homeowners about our products often means using words like “sustainable,” “net-zero” and “green.” But should these words come up? Do homeowners respond well to them?
These are the exact questions the Shelton Group set out to answer in a recent study of over 2,000 U.S. respondents. The resultant report, “The Buzz on Buzzwords,” sheds light on the market’s perceptions of 11 words relating to “green.”
The results are surprising in places, and should influence how certain conversations occur with homeowners. It is helpful to know, for example, that 76 percent of respondents believe the word “green” indicates a steep price. Likewise that only 30 percent of respondents know what “net-zero” means, and an ample 43 percent believe it is an undesirable quality.
Just as technology shifts and progresses, so does the language we use to discuss it. Keeping current is a challenge, especially since it is now apparent that listeners might not fully grasp what we think of as everyday terms. Educating homeowners seems more important than ever before.
How does Mitsubishi Electric make comfort personal for contractors? Come see us at Comfortech 2015 and find out.
The annual event, held this year from September 15-17 in St. Louis, highlights the latest products and trends that are dictating the future of the HVACR, hydronics and plumbing industries. We’re on the exhibition floor (Booth 896) showcasing our innovative HVAC solutions that are not only improving consumers’ lives but boosting contractors’ profitability.
Innovative technologies are just one piece of the HVAC business puzzle. Comfortech also hosts educational sessions that equip contractors with the sales tools and industry knowledge needed to thrive in the business environment. “The Road to Wow More Customers” session, among others, focuses on effective ways to reach and attract customers. Other sessions will provide insight on new codes and regulations that are changing the HVAC landscape. Kevin Miskewicz, our senior manager – commercial marketing, will participate in a panel at 9 a.m. on September 17 alongside contractor Zack Mitchell of Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. “Opportunities with VRF Systems” will focus on the strengths, capabilities and misconceptions of using Variable Refrigerant Flow technology in residential and light commercial applications.
Jim Morris, athlete, author and inspiration for the Disney blockbuster movie “The Rookie,” and marketing guru Kelly McDonald will deliver the keynote speeches. Jim will discuss the importance of being a leader and a follower. Kelly will share the importance of differentiating from the “sea of sameness” in today’s crowded marketplace.
If you’re heading to the Mound City this week, stop by Booth 896 to learn how we can give you a leg up on the sales competition this fall!